Edward Hopper Cartoon, New Yorker
Weekly Email #54
Once in a while my friend and fellow cartoonist, Ellis Rosen, sends me an idea for a cartoon and asks me if I want to run with it.
Yesterday’s daily New Yorker cartoon was the result of one such adventure. The idea was: Edward Hopper finishes his Nighthawks painting, heads home, then minutes later shenanigans are afoot—timed to coincide with the end of the Hopper exhibit at the Whitney.
Below you can see the finished drawing and, further down, I’ve written a little about the process that lead to the New Yorker saying, “O.K.”
Stage 1, the doodle. I cleaned out all the details from Hopper’s painting and then printed a basic layout. Next, I scribbled ideas over the top. I got lucky with this one; it all tumbled out in about twenty minutes (usually a sign you’re onto something).
Stage Two, the sketch. I draw this straight into my sketchbook, using the initial doodle as a guide, but I’m not trying replicate the original composition exactly. The version below is much squarer than Hopper’s painting, because I needed extra space on the sidewalk, and a bigger window, to accommodate all the creatures.
Stage three, shading. For a busy cartoon like this, you need depth (the sketch above is hard to read). I usually use cross hatching for cartoons, but for my collaborations with Ellis, I decided to go with ink washes. These are digitally added in photoshop, but from real ink washes—made over a light box and then scanned in.
It can take a lot of work, just to submit a cartoon, but I wouldn’t go this crazy unless I wanted to make the drawing for its own sake—regardless of whether the New Yorker gave us the thumbs-up.
Thankfully, they did!
The creative process is always fascinating, sometimes as much as the work it produced